Thank you in advance to any/all willing to read and offer opinions!
I have a Dell Lattitude D610 laptop and a Gateway 835GM desktop, both running XP.
I run Quicken 2001, Corel WordPerfect, Turbo Tax, an old Adobe program that lets me print files as .pdfs, PaperPort, Windows Media Player, and look at/store photos. Currently can't view MP4 videos (which my phone records), which is annoying. I browse the 'net some, stream movies (NetFlix), use AOL desktop for email.
I'm required by law to keep accounting records for my business for several years back, and to keep the records intact, I need to keep the old Quicken (or spend months typing in data to a new software ... eeewww ... not doing that). WordPerfect has some great features for creating tables using built-in equations (like Xcel), as well as allowing insertion of graphics for creating flyers, business cards, super large type face for adding to signs. I expect there are plenty of other word processing software packages out there that can do all this, and I expect the learning curve is fairly gentle, so not determined to keep that program necessarily. Really want to keep using Turbo Tax, as it picks up last year's info and continues with the depreciation where we left off and such.
The laptop functions pretty normally -- I don't have it online very much. That's where I keep Quicken, and I may just leave that alone, keep it offline 100% of the time, make .pdfs of the reports I need to send to clients and "sneaker net" them over to the PC for distribution via email. (That's my current M.O.)
The desktop has become slower and slower. It hangs up often -- I just go do something else while it catches up, but this is tedious. The things that seem to slow it down/bring it to a stand are most often AOL, NetFlix, or a bit of time looking at FaceBook.
I've defragmented and run anti-spyware/anti-virus programs obtained through links in this site, but nothing seems to help much. It has been suggested to me that it runs this slow because it is so old (but so am I, and ... well, yes, but I'm organic, dammit.). Or because it runs XP (but it always did, and it wasn't this slow). Or because it has virus(es). I don't know, but it's tedious.
So ... I promised myself that I'd get a new computer when I could afford to. I can. I've been looking at both used and new computers.
One used laptop seller has Linux Ubuntu installed, and the seller will even teach me how to use it. He says this will allow me to be online without getting viruses (or with a 97% reduced chance, anyway). That's tempting. But I gather I can't use most software with Linux. I've never browsed the 'net using Linux, so have no idea how it affects that experience. It happens to be identical to my laptop, but with Ubuntu as the OS. Would this be any real improvement?
Some people use a "dual boot" set up, where they have both Windows and Linux on their system. If I did this, and accessed the 'net ONLY when in Linux, would the Windows OS partition remain virus free, or would it be susceptible to viruses?
Should I get two computers (either a desktop and a second laptop, or two laptops) and use one for entertainment and one for work/accounting related stuff -- just connect the entertainment laptop to a larger monitor for watching movies? (Keeping the old laptop 100% offline for Quicken accounting.)
I'm told SSDs are far better (faster, no moving parts to wear out, no fragmentation issues) than HDDs. But larger capacity SSDs are expensive, so one article suggests having an HDD + SSD and a method of switching back and forth to speed up all the processes. Another computer seller says this isn't really a good solution, and that a moderate SSD is a better way to go.
One computer tech guy tells me not to buy a used laptop 'cause they wear out/get abused, and have unknown provenance -- like maybe some child used it and got it all screwed up.
Shiny new ones at Best Buy are admittedly alluring. The all-in-one styles are particularly tempting (I have very little office space, love the big screens).
I hear Windows 8 kinda' sucked, and Windows 10 "is designed to report in to its masters on everything you do", "won't allow you to change the settings" ... is making people crazy(ier). Doesn't look like you can get a flashy, new "all in one" computer that runs anything like Windows 7. (Having never graduated past Windows XP, I don't even know how I'd like Windows 7). Any opinions on Windows 10, or insight into whether it really is making decisions without user input, has another master (not the computer owner), etc.?
I'm interested in a computer (or some computers) that a) NEVER make any decisions--I would like to be the one issuing the instructions, don't have any software on them other than the software I actually use. c) don't hang up, freeze, have viruses, etc. c) allow me to access my banking info, pay my credit cards online, file my taxes, complete the mandated insurance info forms, etc., in a reasonably secure environment, d) have ample room for storing photos and videos, e) don't take forever to upload/download/execute instructions (I've had clients waiting for me to do things on computer while we're on the phone, and THEY want me to get a new computer), f) let me play on the 'net (stream movies, use FB, etc.) without getting frozen, or getting terribly infected and then bogging down.
Any hope for any of this? Any suggestions?
Thank you again!
Edited by ZeldaB, 28 December 2015 - 09:00 PM.